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Don Shula, Dan Marino, Bobby Bowden and ... Tim Tebow?

GAINESVILLE -- In case you didn't know, ESPN's SportsCenter is putting together a "Mount Rushmore of Sports" for every state in the union, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. CLICK ME! It's a good idea and a great conversation piece. So, naturally, let's discuss it.

Four sports figures represent each state. It seems to me that a person (or horse) should only represent one state, but a few sports icons represent several states. No big deal, I guess. Standing atop Florida's Mount Rushmore are Don Shula, Dan Marino, Bobby Bowden and Tim Tebow. Tebow, by the way, is the youngest sports icon of any state. Michael Phelps of Baltimore, Md., is 23 years old. For a complete list of Florida's sports icons CLICK ME!

Should Tebow be on this short list of Florida's sports icons? What about Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher? How about Roy Jones, Jr., arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer of all time? How about Michelle Akers, one of the greatest U.S. soccer players of all time? What about tennis icon Chris Evert? What about Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin or Deion Sanders? Swimmer Dara Torres makes a strong case as well. From the basketball court, Florida can boast Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and Amare Stoudimare, to name a few off the top of my head. Affirmed, a Florida-bred, was the last horse to win the Triple Crown.

It should be noted that Florida is one of only two states represented by an all-football Mount Rushmore. Mississippi, another talent-rich state, boasts Jerry Rice, Brett Favre, Walter Payton and Archie Manning.

If you want to check out all 52 Mount Rushmores of Sports, then scroll through the index on the feature's main page (LINK LISTED ABOVE.) If you want to vote on the five best Mount Rushmores of Sports then CLICK ME! 

Who makes your Florida Mount Rushmore of Sports? At the rate he's going, does UF athletics director Jeremy Foley ever enter the conversation? I hear you laughing but he has turned an underachieving athletics department into arguably the nation's best. Florida has had the best collection of sports programs in the Southeastern Conference in all but one of his years as A.D. My Florida Mount Rushmore of Sports would be Don Shula, Chris Evert, Roy Jones Jr. and Emmitt Smith.

I know I'm biased, but I have long since believed Alabama (my home state) has produced the most concentrated collection of sports icons in the nation. ESPN's Mount Rushmore of Sports feature only bolsters that argument, I think. I've got to disagree with Alabama's Mount Rushmore, though. I'll take Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, of course. They're arguably the two greatest baseball players in the history of the game. Bo Jackson is a keeper, too. He's the greatest athlete that ever was. I'll gladly replace Bear Bryant (born in Arkansas), however, with a few more deserving Alabama natives: Satchel Paige, Mia Hamm, Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, Willie McCovey or John Stallworth.

-jo-

Comments

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The Florida Mt. is perfect as it currently stands. Tebow deserves to be on there.

My Florida Mount Rushmore: Don Shula, obviously. One of the greatest coaches of all time. Chris Evert, the professional tennis player from Fort Lauderdale. She won 18 grand slams, including a record seven at the French Open. Simply remarkable. Roy Jones, Jr. of Pensacola is one of the greatest boxers of all time. He won titles in four weight classes. Lastly, and deservingly so, is Emmitt Smith, another Pensacola guy. Emmitt Smith won three Super Bowls and is the NFL's all-time career leader in rushing yards. Hello!

-jo-

A-roid, like him or not, will end up deserving to be on the mountain. He'll own the entire record book when he's done.


Bad list, jo, sorry.

Hit enter by accident.

Smith, Jones and Evert did not accomplish their spectacular athletic feats inside the state. Yes, I realize they're from the state, but you want people representing the sports culture...not just people that were born here.

"Should Tebow be on this short list of Florida's sports icons?" Um...how about NO
Tebow before Spurrier? Roy Jones, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Jim Morris all should be up before Timmy. I think you are all being a little premature, the other people have a lifetime body of work, wait til he gets to the pros and see what he does there. Even though he is a Seminole Warrick Dunn should get an honorable mention.
Foley should actually get consideration

Joe Robbie anyone?

Hey joe have you heard anything about TE prospect Orson Charles? What are oue chances of getting him?

How about something on Kiffin offering a scholarship to Matt Elam, currently our top recruit for 2010. Elam said he is 100% Gators and nothing can change his mind, but Tennessee has been putting the full-court press on him throughout the last week...

This ESPN gimmick is even more ridiculous than the "Prestige" garbage they did a month ago.

Adam,

Elam's family goes way back with Urban Meyer, but anything seems possible with Kiffin now that he was able to sign Nu'Keese. Elam seems like a lock for UF, though. The player UF should worry about losing to UT from West Palm Beach Dwyer is LB Gerald Christian.

UF Peru,

Orson Charles did not commit on National Signing Day because he wanted extra time to think about his decision. He is expected to choose between Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Southern Cal. Charles' high school quarterback, Aaron Murray, is at Georgia.

-jo-

Yeah, I know, I was talking about you posting something on the story for everyone else. Urban recruited Elam's brother at ND.

Adam,

There are quite enough people intruding on these kids' lives already. I'm not about to start calling juniors in high school to talk about oral commitments, soft commitments, top schools, rival coaches, etc... Sorry, that's where I draw the line. When the summer camps come around, I'll start compiling lists and short bios of upcoming high school seniors that UF has offered.

-jo-

jo-

You keep thinking I'm suggesting things or asking things that I'm not. I simply suggested you posting the story. The information. I didn't ask for an in-depth investigative report with quotes.

Another story you should consider posting is that Matt Patchan is moving back to offense and recovering from his knee injury.

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